WASHBURN – No titles were on the line when they rolled out the basketballs, just bragging rights.
Brother vs. brother. Sister against sister. Cousins vs. cousin. Perhaps even husbands an wives.
It was the seventh annual alumni game for former players at Washburn High School. In addition to the games, the event was also a fundraiser to support the basketball programs Friday, March 3. Lady Pirate Coach Daniel Bishop said a silent dessert auction, ticket sales, concessions and other donations raised nearly $4,500.
“As always, the support for this event was amazing. We are thankful for this community and the support we receive. This is one of our favorite nights of the year. It is always great to see our alumni come back and support our programs,” Bishop said.
Three games were played on the night. The women kicked off the event, followed by a contest for the men who graduated up to 2011. The last game was for men who played between 2012 and 2022.
The earliest graduates in the women’s game were Regina Holt and Patricia Booker. Both graduated in 1986. The earliest graduate in the first men’s game was Clifton Harrell, Class of 1968.
Even though some of the players may have been away from the game for a while, all three contests proved to be competitive. They battled under the boards and fired from three-point range with amazing accuracy.
In the first men’s game, Jacob Capps hit several shots from downtown. At least one went down from NBA range. Principal Aaron Clay said Capps, a 2008 graduate, played for him when he was head basketball coach.
Not to be outdone, Capps’ brother, Logan Capps scored a couple from long range in the last game, He graduated in 2016.
The Clay family was also well represented on the court. Aaron Clay went to war against his brother Greg Clay in the second game. Aaron graduated in 1997. His brother graduated in 1986.
He recently resigned as principal at Washburn to become Director of Schools in Union County. Aaron joked that his brother had obtained permission from the Union County Board of Education in order to play in the game.
Aaron Clay spent his time in the low post. He managed to draw a few fouls, but unlike his daughter, Saylor, who was one of the better foil shooters for the Lady Pirates, he was unable to convert. His wife, Stacey Clay, also played in the women’s game.
Alumni cheerleaders were also recognized during an intermission.
Braelyn Coffey, who will be eligible for next year’s game, served as public address announcer. She just completed her senior year for the Lady Pirates, becoming the school’s career scoring leader. Moving from the basketball court to the announcer’s chair, she may have found her calling. She not only provided play-by-play, she offered commentary on action on the floor and her opinion of some of the officials’ calls.
On one of those occasions, she noted that the official who made a foul call was the boyfriend of the player who would shoot the free throw. She was also refreshingly candid. In the first men’s game, twin brothers Devin and Drew Farmer were battling for a rebound. One of them came down with it, but Coffey had to admit she didn’t know which one.
“It was a fun night,” Bishop opined.
Additional photos on LT2-LT4.